Sheff United 1 Preston North End 0: Ward grabs late Blades winner

28 December 2009 10:43
Sheffield United deservedly edged a game so tight that it needed either a quirky goal or a flash of brilliance to settle it. [LNB]Ultimately, it was the former, with Jamie Ward's late inswinging free-kick, which curled inside Andy Lonergan's far post ensuring justice was done. [LNB]The 86th-minute goal stood despite Preston protests that their former striker Richard Cresswell was offside and may have distracted Lonergan as he lunged for the ball. [LNB] Earning his stripes: Jamie Ward was again on target for Sheffield United [LNB]Although Preston's dogged defending made it a harsh outcome for Sean St Ledger on a commanding return from Middlesbrough, Alan Irvine's side lacked ambition. [LNB]So they couldn't complain about the misadventure that befell them when Ward's free-kick from the left, adroitly angled for a touch by an on-rushing forward, found the net unaided. [LNB]Sheffield United manager Kevin Blackwell said: 'We work on that set play because it is very difficult for the keeper.[LNB] [LNB]  'You have to win football matches in lots of different ways and we did that. [LNB]'We played some terrific stuff at times, some scrappy stuff and some ugly stuff. But we got there, and rightly so.' [LNB]It looked as if United would pay for Henri Camara's first-half miss as they ran out of ideas and inspiration. [LNB]Irvine said: 'It was a terrific delivery from Ward but the lads are adamant it wasn't a free-kick in the first place for the goal and Cresswell looks offside on the replay. I thought we'd earned a point.'[LNB] Newcastle 0 Derby 0: Ghosts of '96 begin to haunt ToonNottingham Forest 2 Coventry 0: Billy Davies wants signings as Robert Earnshaw and Dexter Blackstock keep Forest fire burningCLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE AND STATISTICSAll the fizz of the Coca-Cola League: Gradi, Strachan and a first ever red [LNB]  

Source: Daily_Mail